So, here goes:
Ah, laundry detergents. You know all the great the brands; I won’t name them here. I probably can't name them here without having to pay some big time lawyer for the privledge. It seems that, now more than ever, the top big brands are coming out with more and more products designed to be more and mroe attractive to us poor folks who just want to have some clean drawers. I admit that I’m a sucker for a cool looking package and a new idea. I’ve bought more than my share of “new and improved” laundry detergents.
One day, while I was bored in the laundromat, I flipped a container of liquid detergent over and looked at the ingredients. Call me curious, but I wanted to know what made this $7 bottle of detergent better than that $7 bottle of detergent. This is what I saw:
Biodegradable surfactants (anionic and nonionic) and enzymes.
Thanks for the info, big corporate companies. You’re telling me a lot. Wait; let me get my scientific dictionary.
Oh, wow, look! My clothes are so clean! So bright! So white. Okay, I guess that biodegradable whatchamajiggs are okay, aren’t they? Then I saw something else, tucked inbetween all those big ole words that turned my head even further toward 180 degrees:
Okay, so I went looking around the interwebs; because you can believe anything you find on the interwebs, right? In this case, I might as well have climbed some mountain in Tibet and asked the old guy I found at the top. My eyes crossed when I saw the pictures of molecules and words like “ultravioletabsorbing whatsamajiggyalyzer”. So I went to my favorite place; Wikipedia. It may have its problems, but it does break things down into simple language.
Kind of like the way biodegradable surfactants break down… oh, wait, that’s another article.
A fluorescent optical brightener, in common parlance, is a chemical that some companies use to treat clothing so that whites look whiter. You read that right. Look whiter; not be whiter. They “are dyes that absorb light in the UV and violet region of the electromagnetic spectrum, and re-emit light in the blue region.” It makes materials look less yellow by increasing the amount of blue light reflected.
Seriously. A chemical that makes your clothes glow blue-white? Like Photoshop™ for your Maytag™.Think about that; I’ll wait.
So, about those brighteners. I like my skivvie's nice and white like the next guy, but I'm not going to depend on a dubious set of chemicals to do it for me.
I'll stick with my three ingredients, thanks. At least I know this won't happen the next time I get my undies in a bunch:
Next time: Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.